Can Mice Sense A Cat In The House?

Can Mice Sense A Cat In The House?

Cats have been popular as mice catchers since ancient times. Records show that they scattered around the world by being brought onboard ships to protect food and to kill rodents like mice. While it is hard to say if they see each other as mortal enemies, rodents like mice and rats seem to have developed an instinct to evade cats.

Can mice sense a cat in the house?

Yes, mice can sense a cat in the house thanks to their vomeronasal organ or Jacobson’s organ, a special sensory organ containing neurons that can detect the chemical signals produced by cats. Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute in California discovered that neurons found in the vomeronasal organ of mice can be stimulated by chemical signals or proteins emitted by cats and other predators through their urine and saliva. 

Scientists also found that the proteins called major urinary proteins or MUPS cause mice to exhibit signs of fear. They noted that the mice have evolved to develop receptors so they can evade being ambushed and killed by cats and other predators. 

Will mice stay away if you have cats?

Yes, mice tend to stay away if you have cats around. They can smell their presence because cats emit chemicals and proteins that deter and keep them away from your home. However, while the presence of cats can keep mice away it does not necessarily mean that they will totally be gone. 

Certain studies reveal that cats cannot fix the mice problem because they cannot reach the nesting areas of mice and mice tend to reproduce quickly.  Mice can still enter your home through gaps and holes and unless completely.

Do cats kill mice or just play with them?

Cat experts note that most cats are more interested in hunting, chasing and playing with mice rather than killing or eating them. Mice are easy targets because aside from being small prey they do not put up much of a fight. 

They are also a favorite prey because of their skittering movement that attracts cats. While some kill mice and even bring them to their owners as “gifts”, indoor cats are more likely to play and injure mice as they satiate their desire for hunting. 

Cat breeds that catch and kill mice 

These are the cat breeds that especially like to hunt mice:

  • Siamese
  • Manx 
  • Maine Coon
  • Domestic Shorthair
  • British Shorthair
  • Siberian 
  • Persian 
  • Chartreux 
  • Burmese 
  • Japanese Bobtail 
  • Turkish Angora 
  • American Shorthair 
  • Bengal 
  • Abyssinian 

Can you rent a cat to get rid of mice?

Yes, renting a cat to get rid of mice is possible in some areas.  For example in the UK you can order a rescue cat for free through an online application.  The idea is to have poison-free pest control since a cat’s lingering scent is enough to deter mice away from homes.  


Mice are considered as one of the favorite prey of cats because they are easy to hunt and pursue and because of their skittering movement that attracts felines. Thanks to their vomeronasal or Jacobson’s organ, mice can sense if there are cats in the house which helps them to evade being ambushed and killed. However, while cats instill fear among mice when detected it does not mean that your house will be mice-free since mice reproduce quickly and tend to stay around especially if there are food sources and nesting areas in your home. 

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